Return of the Big Salad

They’re still showing Seinfeld re-runs here in Sydney. I caught a glimpse of the ‘Big Salad’ episode last week, and it got me thinking…

The Big Salad:

Many years ago, when I was travelling the world, interviewing expatriate Australian Hare Krishna devotees for my historical book, ‘The Great Transcendental Adventure’, I found myself in Colorado. I had tracked down some old friends, Vidyaranya and Dipak, who lived in Boulder and Basalt respectively.

My home base was in Denver, at the Hare Krishna Temple, and everyday I would have lunch at Govinda’s on Cherry Street.

I picked up quite a few recipes on the road, and some of them made their way into my subsequent cookbooks.

govindas cherry street:

I received a letter from Pamela in California, and it got my culinary memory juices flowing:

“I am asked to make Almond salad dressing for our next home program.
Would you please give me the recipe. Thank you.”

Here’s my reply:


As I wrote in my first cookbook, Great Vegetarian Dishes, ‘The Hare Krishnas of Denver, Colorado, run a very popular restaurant, Govinda’s, on Cherry Street. One of their salad dressings particularly appeals to me; as the name suggests, it’s packed with strong flavours. Nutritional or brewers yeast is available at health food stores.’

Here’s the recipe:

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes,

YIELD: 2 cups.

1 cup blanched almonds,

1 cup cold water,

1 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice,

3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce,

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast or brewers yeast.

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth. That’s it.

It’s a great dressing, especially on ‘big salads’.



If you follow the news you will be aware of the terrible devastation by earthquake to the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

I have a number of friends there and have been keeping up with the reports from the shattered city. Apart from minor injuries, all my friends are alive.

The Hare Krishna Temple there has been pretty much destroyed, including the sacred inner sanctum. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those that are suffering.

Avocado Smoothie

Geraldine from Manly writes: “Hi there Kurma. I tasted an avocado smoothie recently in a Vietnamese eatery. Wondered if you have a recipe? Cheers.”

My reply: Yes I do!

avocado smoothie:
Vietnamese Avocado Smoothie

If you

La Trobe University Hosts Kurma Dasa

La Trobe:

My teaching year has begun. Here’s some details of one upcoming class:

team bendogo 2010:

La Trobe University, Melbourne will soon be hosting its 4th annual hands-on cookery workshop with Kurma Dasa.

Amira takes a peek...:

Places are limited! Hurry – only six weeks to go.

daikon radish:

Date: Saturday, 9 April 2011

Time: 9:30 am – 4:30pm

Venue: Life Skills Cafe, La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus

Bookings and enquiries: email Manoj / phone 0430 1008 17

Why You Should Never Sleep With TV or Dim Lights On …


Exposure to even dim light at night, such as a glowing TV screen, could prompt changes in your brain that lead to mood disorders – up to and including depression…

Sleeping in a pitch-black bedroom is an important and relatively easy lifestyle choice to make for your health. Even the dim glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your ability to sleep – and more importantly, your long term health and risk of developing cancer or major depression…

Read the whole fascinating and well-researched article. It may change your ideas about sleep forever…

Dancin' in the Streets

rathayatra bliss 1:

Callin’ out around the world

Are you ready for a brand new beat?

Summer’s here and the time is right

For dancin’ in the streets

They’re dancin’ in Chicago

Down in New Orleans

Up in New York City

And St Kilda too…

All we need is music, sweet music

There’ll be music everywhere

There’ll be swingin’, swayin’ and records playin’

And dancin’ in the streets

singin'in the street:

Oh, it doesn’t matter what you wear

Just as long as you are there

So come on, every guy grab a drum

Everywhere around the world

There’ll be dancin’

They’re dancin’ in the street

This is an invitation

Across the nation

A chance for the folks to meet

There’ll be laughin’ and singin’ and music swingin’

And dancin’ in the streets…

(Apologies to Martha and the Vandellas for the slight change in the lyrics…)


dem bikkies:

Here’s a good-looking recipe for spicy Indian bikkies, called Nankhatai. I haven’t tried them yet, but anything from Sanjana’s food website always turns out well. I am intrigued at the addtion of chickpea flour in the mixture. Of course chickpea flour is the mainstay of laddhus, so why not take advantage of its nuttiness in the baking department.

So here’s the recipe…

Turmeric Wins again

glorious turmeric:

Curry drug could help rebuild brain after stroke

“Studies on animals suggest that a new hybrid drug, made in part from the chemical in the yellow spice turmeric, could help regenerate brain cells after a stroke, US researchers said.

The molecular compound is made with curcumin, a natural yellow pigment that originates from a perennial herb called curcuma longa and is popular in south Asian and Middle Eastern foods, particularly curries.

Human trials on the drug, which works by restoring pathways that feed neurons, could begin soon, according to scientist Paul Lapchak of Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre“…read more…

And much much more on turmeric